Hearty Party Exceeds Expectations
20,000 visitors help celebrate the launch of Heartlands
The launch of Heartlands, the UK’s first free cultural playground based in West Cornwall, has been hailed a resounding success after visitor numbers exceeded 20,000 people over a three-day opening party event.
Starting with a Grand Parade on the Friday involving over 1000 people including 600 school children; visitors continued to come in their thousands to explore this inspirational new visitor attraction and World Heritage Site Gateway and experience the magic, myth and mayhem activities on offer.
Highlights of the weekend included aerial performances on the mining headgear, live music performances including Newton Faulkner, theatre performances including Oogly Es Sin by Bish Bash Bosh, Cornish Knocker storytelling tours and a fire show finale by Redruth-based and internationally renowned, Rogue Theatre
who project managed the main event activities.
One of the most popular areas over the weekend was the adventure playground. As the biggest of its kind in the South West, staff witnessed a number of parents having to comfort children who simply didn’t want to leave.
Other busy spaces included the Red River Café where food stocks got so low, an emergency trip to the local cash-and-carry was needed on the Sunday; and the shop where willow hearts and books about South Crofty mine were the most sought after items. Visitors also praised the poignant Frame of Mined film within the exhibition which is projected across three walls to create a fully immersive experience. The film documents the rise and fall of Cornish tin mining.
The art and craft studios also based at Heartlands were also busy with visitors taking the opportunity to meet the creatives and buy their work.
Vicky Martin, Chief Executive of Heartlands said:
“We asked people to go see, go play, go wow and they just did that! It was an amazing weekend and we’d like to thank everyone involved including the hundreds of wonderful community performers who gave us everything from opera to Bollywood dancing.
“It’s been great to finally show Heartlands off to the world and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback. Now, the hard work starts, making sure that we are able to keep the spirit of Heartlands alive for generations to come.”
Heartlands became a reality in 2007 when it was awarded a £22.3 million grant by the Big Lottery Fund, the biggest grant BIG has ever given to a single project in England. It was one of only four projects in the UK to receive the grant under BIG’s Living Landmarks scheme. Additional funding was provided by Cornwall Council, Home and Communities Agency (HCA) and the European Union to reach £35 million.
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For further information, interviews or images of the launch weekend, please contact:
Kate Turnbull, Marketing Manager 01209 722327 / 07889703801
Notes to Editors
Based on former derelict mine land at Robinson’s Shaft in the village of Pool, Heartlands is a social enterprise, run by the charity, the Heartlands Trust and includes:
o World Heritage Site state-of-the art exhibitions
o Restored Engine House with 80” Beam Engine (the last Cornish engine to work on a Cornish mine)
o Biggest Adventure Playground in Cornwall (themed on Cornish myth and history)
o Diaspora Botanical Gardens (each relating to a country that the Cornish have emigrated to)
o Red River Café and Bar
o Art and Craft studios
o Chi an Bobel (large community, conference and function hall)
o Totem Circle (small amphitheatre for music, dance and theatre performances)
o Market Square
o Events Arena (for large scale outdoor festivals)
o Interactive art installations including graffiti-me totem poles and Red River paddling stream
o 19 one and two-bedroomed sustainable homes
o Biomass boiler, photo voltaics, rain-harvesting system and wind turbine
o Year-round programme of events
• Heartlands is situated in the village of Pool, near Redruth in West Cornwall, just minutes from the A30. For further information visit www.heartlandscornwall.com
• Robinson’s Shaft, where Heartlands is based, is one of the most important mining sites in the country. It forms a part of one of the ten discrete landscapes that make up the Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape World Heritage Site and is the location of a number of grade II listed buildings.
• What distinguishes this particular mining site is that it remained in use until 1996 and therefore retained more of its historic buildings and structures than other sites you see today where mining ceased much earlier. Robinson’s Engine House also includes a Cornish pumping engine of 1854, which has been kept in a remarkable state of preservation and was the last Cornish Engine to work on a Cornish Mine.
• The Cornwall Council led scheme became a reality in 2007 when it was awarded a £22.3 million grant by the Big Lottery Fund as part of the £35million scheme.
• Cornwall Council has been the driving force behind the development, acting on behalf of the community from its predecessor, Kerrier District Council, who formally took the lead on the scheme in 2005.
• It is the largest single regeneration development led by the Council, and is part of a wider series of works in the area to help reinvigorate this former industrial area.
• The Council led on the application to the Big Lottery Fund, and has been the accountable body for all grants and the wider delivery to this completed point of the scheme.
o Cornwall Council is a unitary authority.
o It was created on 1 April 2009 by merging Cornwall County Council and the six borough and district councils in Cornwall - Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Restormel and Penwith.
o It is the biggest employer in Cornwall.
o It provides a wide range of services to more than half a million residents.
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG)
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Big Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030, Textphone: 08456 021 659. Full details of Big Lottery Fund projects and grant awards are available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
• Big Lottery Press Office: 020 7211 1888. Out of hours: 07867 500 572
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Its vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas. This is achieved by:
• Understanding the needs and aspirations of people and communities through close working with local authorities on local investment planning
• Enabling local delivery through the channelling of expertise and investment
• Working effectively with the market, housebuilders, investors and other stakeholders
For more information visit the HCA newsroom at homesandcommunities.co.uk/newsevent